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Profile: A Family Affair

Posted: October 2, 2007
Back to the October issue.

A family business can create a focus for the next generation, building a drive to take the company to the next level. For Cristina Samuels and Jennifer Isaac, co-founders of MODE Cosmetics, the family business drove them to start a business of their own. These two sisters were immersed in Zela International, a cosmetics manufacturer. Samuels worked in sales and marketing, while Isaac focused on product development.

MODE was born as the two experimented with a line of cosmetics that incorporated health, fashion and nature. “Natural products give the impression of all or nothing—all crunch and no glamour, or all glamour and no benefits,” said Samuels. “I knew that there was this void in the market, and if I was interested in this idea, other women would be also.”

The 250 SKU line is influenced by ingredients and new formulations. “When we tell people that we are developing these new products, they get really excited. I feed off the energy, and it lets me know we’re going in the right direction,” said Isaac. “We have many new proprietary ingredients and formulations that we are developing, which we are very excited about.”

The sisters grew up in a world focused on fashion and health. “My parents are the most alluring and elegant people I know, and they lead healthy lifestyles,” said Isaac. “I recall my mother rubbing the peels of mangos on her face for a mask as an added bonus when she would peel fruits and vegetables for me. My father is a 40-year industry veteran who showed me that great quality products can be delivered at great price points.”